Cavs' James soaring

KEN WIEBE -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 7:58 AM ET

CLEVELAND -- LeBron James continues to show poise that extends beyond his years.

James, the second-year star of the Cleveland Cavaliers, added material to his expanding highlight reel Wednesday night helping his team overcome a franchise record 19-point fourth-quarter deficit to give the previously unbeaten Phoenix Suns their first loss of the season, 114-109 in overtime at Gund Arena.

James scored 17 of his season-high 38 points in the fourth quarter and then put his faith in 7-foot centre Zydrunas Ilgauskas to tie the contest with a game-tying three-pointer with 3.6 seconds to go.

"I've said it since the pre-season, the guys look at me as a leader and a go-to guy, so that makes you feel comfortable automatically," said James, last season's rookie of the year. "I just know the game a lot better, in the off-season I really watched film to see the mistakes I made."

TOUGHEST PART

James said the toughest part about the game was watching on the sidelines late in the third quarter as the Suns extended their lead from eight to 19 points with the high-flying phenom taking a rare breather.

James took over the game in the quarter, driving the basket, draining jump shots and doing whatever he could to get his team back in the contest.

His three-pointer with 1:26 cut the deficit to five. That number went down to three when James brought the crowd to its feet with an electrifying slam dunk with 57.2 seconds left.

James and Suns point guard Steve Nash both made a pair of free throws in the final 34 seconds before a Suns turnover then set the stage for the big finish as James found Ilgauskas wide open for the game-tying shot.

"Of course, I made one against Indiana so I knew in the back of their mind they thought I was going to take the shot," said James, who was the first overall pick in the NBA draft in 2003 and went straight to the NBA after starring at St. Vincent-St. Mary High School in Akron, Ohio. "We've run that play plenty of times in practice. Z is a great shooter and I never hesitated on passing him the ball. They doubled me, I gave it to him and he made the big shot."

James, who played 48 minutes in Tuesday's win over the Atlanta Hawks, admits to feeling some fatigue in the early stages of the NBA season.

"I ain't never felt this tired," said James, surrounded by the daily horde of media in the Cavaliers locker room. "But coach gave us the day off, so I can sleep all day. I'm going to get as much rest as I can."

Cavaliers head coach Paul Silas has talked about the importance of finding some rest for James during games to keep him fresh but he needs James on the court.

"He's 19-years-old and he can handle it," said Silas. "It's hard because he fuels our team. When he's out there things look a lot smoother than when he's sitting on the bench."

As for having the confidence in Ilgauskas instead of forcing a tough shot with timing winding down, Silas said that's a big part of the learning process for James.

"That's being very unselfish and having trust in your teammates," said Silas.


Videos

Photos